My photo won the Canon Photo Marathon HK prize! The photo of Franco Bigazzi climbing at Beacon Hill with Kowloon in the background. The theme the photo won for was 成長九龍情 translated to English as “Affection for an Evolving Kowloon”.

Thanks to Franco Bigazzi, Nigel Firth and Aaron Tam for all their help getting this shot. An extra shout out goes to everyone else that posed for me! Here is a description of how I got the shot:

I shot this image anchored to the rock with a rope tied around my waist hanging 50 feet above the ground. As a photographer, I thrive on the energy of others. I was a bit confused when I heard the “Affection for Kowloon” theme; luckily my friend was heading to a climbing area nearby the first checkpoint, a place we both love. We checked in and headed up to Beacon Hill, the cab going the wrong way then finally up the hill. With my climbing equipment at home I improvised a harness with the end of the rope so I could climb up to a neighboring anchor in the rock. Franco then climbed the arete and hugged and kissed it as I leaned over the edge. I wanted to show the joy we find in the changing hills of Kowloon with the edge of the city moving ever closer. I used flash to emphasize his presence on the rock, but felt it was too stark. The darkness of the shadow on his face and the human scale in proportion to the frame made me pick this image over wider and tighter ones. The treasure of Kowloon truly bring joy to so many.

Here is a link to category page with a nice video that sums up the experience.

I do have to say, after reviewing the winning photos that the judges strictly follow the advice given during the previous lecture series. Photos evoking the history of Hong Kong, with props, reflections and the decisive moment all seem to play a big part in the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories. I kept the blacks pretty dark in the Canon Picture Styles to match the depth and contrast of some of the black and white photos shown in the lecture. All photo editing was done in camera, so my preprogrammed picture styles were setup this way (I ported them to the camera via usb from my desktop).

Be sure to checout my other posts on the contest with a full set of submissions and print output of the final shot.